ⓘ Backwaters (management festival)
Backwaters is the annual business summit organized by the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. It represents a confluence point for management students in India as corporate honchos and academicians adjudicate over events dealing with leading burning issues. Competitive events range across marketing, finance, operations, strategy, systems, human resources, social responsibility and entrepreneurship. Backwaters is organized by the Backwaters Committee of IIM Kozhikode. Backwaters over the years has been associated with a core idea, and the recent edition, Backwaters19 was themed Redefining Excellence-The Indi-Genius Way.
1. Annual Management Festival
Backwaters, the annual business summit takes place towards the end of every year. Each year, it attracts participants from all across India besides business leaders representing diverse business sectors. The festival is held over three days and features close to twenty events in addition to a few flagship events. Backwaters also attracts significant corporate participation in most of its events besides providing a separate platform in the form of Horizons - The Business Conclave. This speaker series sees corporates from India Inc. enlightening the IIMK fraternity with their insights on contemporary issues.
Backwaters attracts over 3000 footfall from over the top 150 management schools in India. Participating institutes include Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. Backwaters also holds a plethora of workshops for school students, graduates, and working professionals seeking out the various facets of management education.
The Business Conclave organised during Backwaters has come to serve as a platform for leaders - past, present and future - to discuss and debate issues relevant to the prevailing times. Earlier editions have seen several esteemed speakers gracing the event such as Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Mr. Kiran Karnik, Prof. C. K. Prahalad, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, and Dr. Chandan Mitra among others.
3.1. Flagship Events White Knight
White Knight is the B-Plan contest held as a part of Backwaters. One of the key flagship programs in Backwaters, White Knight has a social angle to it which has resulted in small-scale ideas being presented over the years. Backwaters v2.10 has seen White Knight being opened up to working professionals as well.
3.2. Flagship Events Bizzathalon
Bizzathalon is the flagship Corporate Quiz of Backwaters which is being held for the very first time. Open to working professionals, Bizzathalon as part of Backwaters v2.10 is being conducted by renowned quizmaster, Mr. Avinash Mudaliar.
3.3. Flagship Events Labyrinth
Labyrinth is the online treasure hunt event of Backwaters. With over 3 million hits in its previous avatar, Labyrinth is one of the most eagerly anticipated treasure hunt contests in the country. By having multiple paths to the final destination, Labyrinth introduces loops, dead ends and turnarounds to turn the sequential puzzle into a complex maze.
3.4. Flagship Events Avatar
The hunt for the next CEO as it is known, Avatar is the search for the individual with skill-sets needed to run an organisation successfully. In this event, chosen participants will be tested over 3 days on various business aspects and the winner declared the Avatar.
3.5. Flagship Events Konsulenti
Konsulenti is the flagship strategy contest of Backwaters in which participants tackle a real-world scenario and chart out a path for the selected organisation. The problems given as a part of Konsulenti generally represent actual problems being faced by organisations.
4.1. Events Marketing
There are a number of marketing events spread over the three days at Backwaters. Main among them include Trilogy, Survivor, and Maul the Mall. These events test most facets of product and brand placement with focus on social media and customer-centric marketing.
4.2. Events Operations
The Operations events at Backwaters are veered towards testing the ability of participants to manage the day-to-day logistics of an organisation and the impact of such decisions through events like Chain Reaction and Optimizer.
4.3. Events Finance
The events in the Finance vertical at Backwaters are generally held on simulated trading platforms reflective of the working of the world financial markets. They contain a spread of events testing quantitative aptitude alongside sector specific nous.
4.4. Events Systems
The thrust in systems events in Backwaters is on making the right technology calls when put in charge of organisations whose core competency may not necessarily be technology with special emphasis on project planning and scheduling
4.5. Events Strategy
Strategy events in Backwaters focus on decision-making with associated short-term and long-term impacts quantified. The emphasis is on pulling a fast one on your competitors through events like Beat the Market and C-Strat.
4.6. Events Human Resources
The time-tested principle of an organisation being made by its people is what the HR events in Backwaters try to test. Negotiations and team-building skills are brought to the fore in events like Boot Kamp.
The student run Backwaters Committee is in charge of conceptualising the festival, external and internal branding, and corporate sponsorship and support. Various other student bodies and interest groups assist in the design of the individual events held along various verticals
Backwaters is funded primarily by corporate partnerships and sponsorship along with significant assistance from the institute
6. Social responsibility
Backwaters has been associated with various social pursuits in the past. The Social Services Group of IIM Kozhikode took the initiative in organising the Calicut Mini Marathon. It has regularly partnered with PETA in its endeavour to prevent cruelty against animals.
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